WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —¬†Nemours Children’s Health System applauds Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Congressman Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas) for their leadership in introducing the Telehealth Improvement for Kids’ Essential Services¬†(TIKES) Act of 2020. Nemours has been a vocal advocate for policies, like the TIKES Act, that remove barriers to covering care provided via telehealth for families receiving Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) benefits.

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, telehealth became crucial for countless families abiding by public health recommendations to temporarily avoid in-person medical visits. Government policy waivers were highly effective in unleashing the power and potential of telehealth to provide safe care to children and families. At Nemours, in the early days of the pandemic response, telehealth visits increased 2,400% and expanded coverage allowed the health system to be reimbursed fairly for the services provided.

“Telehealth has facilitated the delivery of high-quality, efficient care to millions of American children. The public health challenge of COVID-19 highlighted its effectiveness and proved that it will be valuable as a permanent part of the U.S. healthcare system,” said R. Lawrence Moss, MD, FACS, FAAP, president and CEO of Nemours Children’s Health System. “I commend the leadership of Congresswoman Blunt Rochester and Congressman Burgess in responding to issues raised by health systems like Nemours by introducing this important legislation.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed for us to make rapid progress on expanding access to telehealth so children and families across the country, especially those in rural and underserved communities, face fewer barriers to accessing medical care,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester.¬†“With the introduction of the TIKES Act, we can continue that progress by bringing better alignment and clarity to Medicaid telehealth policies, as well as provide guidance to state Medicaid programs on the opportunities telehealth services can have for children. I’d like to thank my colleague, Congressman Burgess, for joining me in this critical effort.”

“Amidst the pain and suffering that our nation has endured throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a major takeaway has been the advantage of telehealth. There is a convenience factor to not having to take time to physically transport yourself to the doctor’s office and have your child sit in a waiting room with other potentially sick patients,” said Rep. Burgess. “This bipartisan legislation will improve utilization of telehealth by requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide guidance to states on how to make the most of telehealth options in their Medicaid and CHIP programs. Additionally, it directs studies to gather data that can help inform future telehealth policy. I urge my fellow members to support this legislation that will help build upon the telehealth foundation that we have built this year.”

SOURCE Nemours Children’s Health System

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